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Reb Lisa's Message

Last Thursday I had the honor of co-leading the Interfaith Pride service, hosted by Faith Lutheran, and held at First Christian. We were nourished with messages of love, inclusivity, belonging. It was inspiring to hear personal stories of struggle, hope, and healing. We prayed and sang as one interconnected faith community. We acknowledged that the God we put our faith in is a God who loves unconditionally; the God that acknowledges infinite possibilities for expressing who we are, and the God that supports our choice to love without limits, because love is love is love.

From a Jewish perspective I shared the words of Jesse Gerwein, a member of my former Shul in Berkeley, Congregation Netivot Shalom. Jesse, who was 14 at the time, reminded us that, “One of God’s attributes is ‘Ein Sof’ or ‘the infinite.’ There is no box big enough to fit God inside. All of us are created b’tzelem Elohim, in God’s image. Therefore, we are God-like when we acknowledge that same place within us that is beyond categories and boxes.” In essence, God is non-binary.

As we come to the end of June, and celebrate our last Shabbat of Pride month, I share an important poem by Sara Stock Mayo that echoes the same sentiment.

Pride Shabbat Blessing from an Ally

By Sara Stock Mayo

Blessed are you Adonai our God

Who made us in your image

Which knows no race nor gender

nor sexual identity or orientation

Blessed is the word pride

Which is the consciousness

of one’s own dignity

To see oneself as completely whole in living

as they were created to be

Blessed is joy and pleasure in the physical, spiritual, emotional connection we feel

in relationship to another

Blessed is knowing and being and celebrating

Blessed is allyship

Truly seeing someone just as they are

And how they’ve told you they want to be seen

Blessed is allowing ourselves to be led

Blessed is allowing ourselves to follow

Blessed is the ability to transform, to allow for movement and possibility

To create and re-create who and what feels most authentic today and tomorrow and into the future knowing that the possibilities are endless

Blessed are you Adonai, who made me in your image which knows no form

Blessed is limitlessness

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